West Mercia Police to close Shrewsbury control room

Police press conference pic
Image caption Mr Shaw said there may be one control room for West Mercia and Warwickshire

West Mercia Police is to close its control room in Shrewsbury.

On Thursday, the force confirmed it would be closing more than 30 facilities in order to avoid cutting some jobs and to save £1.5m.

Up to 12 police stations will close in Shropshire, with the majority being replaced by "community offices" in places like shopping centres.

The force is sharing resources with Warwickshire Police to save money and may share one control room.

West Mercia Chief Constable David Shaw said it was "a possibility" that there could only be one control room between the forces as the current number of three - also in Worcestershire and Warwickshire - was probably too many.

'Only a recommendation'

The control room in Battlefield, near Shrewsbury, will relocate to the force's southern control room at the force's headquarters at Hindlip, near Worcester.

It will affect about 84 members of staff who work as supervisors, call handlers and communications operators.

They will be given the option to move to Hindlip or offered other employment opportunities within the force.

Chief superintendent Trevor Albutt, said: "This planned move will see absolutely no change in the level of service the public currently receive; as staff will be doing exactly the same job they did before, just in a different location."

Any potential relocation is scheduled for 2015.

Sharing support staff

The force said on Thursday, that as about 80% of its budget was spent on salary costs it was inevitable "some people will face redundancy".

It needs to find £20m in savings by April 2015-16.

Police buildings to close in Worcestershire include those in Bromsgrove, Droitwich, Stourport-on-Severn, Pershore, Tenbury Wells, Bewdley, Hagley and Broadway.

Bromyard, Ross-on-Wye and Peterchurch are among those shutting in Herefordshire.

In Shropshire, stations chosen to close are Ludlow, Much Wenlock, Shrewsbury town centre, Whitchurch, Newport, Shifnal, Cleobury Mortimer, Craven Arms, Donnington Mill, Ironbridge, Albrighton and Ellesmere.

It was thought Bishop's Castle station was to close but the force has since said it will remain open as a safer neighbourhood team base.

West Mercia Police Authority approved plans to share resources with the Warwickshire force in June.

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